AUM Boston highlights William McCalpin's "Investing Through a Gender Lens"
In the most recent issue of AUM Boston, Bill McCalpin, Athena’s managing partner of impact investments, penned an article titled “Investing through a Gender Lens,” in which he shares an example of working with an impact investing client as part of the firm’s expanded services to support clients with values-based priorities.
In 2013, Athena began a client relationship with an investor who cares passionately about women’s empowerment as well as competitive financial returns. “She wanted us to place as much of her capital as possible with female asset managers and to build a portfolio that fully aligned with her commitment to gender diversity and inclusion,” writes McCalpin.
An initial review of the client’s portfolio revealed limited exposure to female managers. Within a short period, the Athena team was able to recommend additional female managers that, like the client, desire to demonstrate that women can achieve their financial goals by investing with other women. “Over the past five years, the Athena team has worked with the client to move 50 percent of her portfolio into alignment with her values-based priorities,” McCalpin notes.
The experience of collaborating with this client has yielded valuable lessons. The Athena team learned early on that a focus solely on female managers was too narrow. McCalpin explains, “We opened the aperture and considered investment teams that exhibit a high degree of gender inclusiveness—something that was also consistent with the client’s broad objectives.” The team also focused on equity index tracking strategies that overweight companies scoring well on criteria such as the percentage of women in board and senior management roles.
In January 2018, Athena reflected on the experience of working with the client and published its insights in a white paper, “Investing in Gender Equality.”
McCalpin’s article, “Investing through a Gender Lens,” can be read on the AUM Boston website.